Classroom Seating Arrangements
Make the Most of Them!!
Throughout the year I preferred to organize my classroom seating arrangements (classroom desks) in groups.
I believe that you need to alter the physical set up of your classroom often. It's like starting fresh and anew every couple of months.
Positioning desks and chairs so that students can look at each other, as well as grouping desks in separate areas, stimulates discussion which encourages motivation and class participation.
Eventually you have to socialize and work with all types of people later on in life, why not prepare them now!!
At the beginning of the year (2nd or 3rd day), I arranged the classroom desks in groups, either 4,5, or 6 people in each group.
After 6 to 8 weeks it was time for them to move and they chose who they sat with. They couldn't sit beside, across from or diagonally across from a person in their last group.
They also had to give me their seating plan and where the group would be sitting in the room. I had the final say of changing someone around if I felt that there might be some issues(e.g. too friendly with each other, or couldn't see the front of the class).
When all the seating plans were in, students could move. They were now working with new classmates and seeing the class from a different perspective.
If after a while there was a problem with particular students in a group, they had choices to make - fix the problem, move desks within the group or sit separately - I made them accountable.
By changing the classroom seating arrangements every 6 to 8 weeks, students would eventually sit with everyone in the class, get to know each other personally and perhaps form new friendships by the end of the year.
Group seating is also better for doing group work, distributing materials, calling students up to see me, and dismissing them. "Try it, you'll like it". It worked for me!!
P.S. If possible I also changed my desk around. Sometimes I sat at the back of the room, which brought a whole new perspective to me.
Classroom Seating Charts
Classroom seating charts are an excellent resource for supply teachers to identify students who are absent and to allow them to call on students by name for answers, discipline issues,etc.
Some principals also liked to view the classroom seating chart when visiting a class.
I would keep mine handy by drawing a simple diagram at the front of my daybook.
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